Poetry of the Night
By Freda Dong
A reading of two poems accompanied by videos, photos, and Flow.
An Ode to a Jar of Stars When I was in second grade Mama taught me The art of making paper stars. Her fingers guided mine through the steps Understood subconsciously by my hands. Take a strip, tie a knot Wrap into a pentagon Hold it gently, tuck the end Pinch the points to make your stars. Make a wish once you are done. Other constellations decorated the ceiling, Accompanied by the planets and their moons. Their lullaby lulled me to sleep every night, Protecting me from monsters in the dark. When I was in fourth grade my friend asked me To fold her stars as good luck charms. Loose leaf strips became celestial bodies, I filled up a box with symbols of love. Her mom threw them out shortly afterwards. When I was in sixth grade I abandoned my stars Wanting to grow up and leave childhood behind Searching for what I wanted and where I belonged Forgetting the calm the stars provide. Mind racing, pressure building, head hurting, anxiety growing. When I was in eighth grade the pressure filled my head, Feeling out of place even around my friends. When loneliness and anxiety filled my mind I remembered the stars I had left behind. Knotting, wrapping, tucking, pinching, Calming actions, fading tension. Magical star after star filled up a jar, Glowing in the dark, lighting up the room. The city lights hide the night sky from my sight. Yet now I have my jar of stars that send me dreams Of a brighter future. Nebula In your dark orbs I see the light That brightens up the sky at night. After the sun sets below the sea My inspiration, my muse, is set free. But sometimes, I get lost in the scope Of our universe and the different Stories we create. I cannot cope With the whispers in time’s currents --- So I ran. In infinity I am insignificant Among hundreds of peerless constellations, It doesn’t matter if my flame’s extinguished. But your beacon of starlight draws my unfinished Tales back, and together we explore our imaginations, Our nothingness transforms into something magnificent.
I wanted to expand on my video editing skills with the multimedia project, and decided to create a collage of photos, videos, and Flow using poems I’ve already written but have not perfected. Flow is a type of art that uses the manipulation of LED props to create stunning choreography in the dark, which really fits both of my poems night themes. After extensive editing to the poems, I read them aloud and took both of my previous choreographies and created new ones that matches with the meter and rhythm of the poems. Throughout the year I took pictures of night scenes around New York, and borrowed some of my mom’s photos too. Using iMovie I combined all of these elements to create this multimedia project. As the night sky and it’s stars are often the inspiration for my creativity, I want to showcase them in this project, combining the poetry I’m familiar with with skills I need to improve on which is video editing.
Freda Dong is a young writer who writes poetry and hopes to write short stories. She is Chinese American. Freda loves astronomy, history and fantasy and spends her free time reading and listening to music. Her hobbies include puzzle games and collecting stationery. She lives under a rock and keeps up with almost no social trends. She will never, ever, ever download TikTok.